Chalking up a 7-baller for our first Labs weekender
For the last couple of years, the Substrakt team have hung around in the studio after working hours on a Tuesday to work on projects; side projects, personal projects, experiments… you get the gist. Having spent a fair amount of Tuesday evenings last year working on our own website and failing to actually deliver any other projects we felt a rethink was required. A few hours after a hard day on client work doesn’t really cut it if we want to smash out some awesome.
The conclusion was to take a weekend out (including a Friday) every 2 or 3 months to focus and deliver some sort of digital goodness within 3 days. This approach, that we call ‘labs’, allows us to hone our skills, explore new design/development techniques, do some team bonding and eat serious amounts of take-away food.
The results from our first session (mid April) were better than we’d hoped, and we ended up working on 4 different projects. The first of these that we’re introducing is an iPhone app called Chalk. This app idea has been knocking around the studio since we had a pool table in our old office, and we felt a simple, clear and well designed scoring app would go down well.
Design and UI-wise, we wanted to create something which echoed the billiard halls of old and felt appropriate in its setting. Unashamedly skeuomorphic in appearance, this gives the app a little character, and separates it from being a joyless utility. Bring on the wood and chalk boards!
The app was built in record time by Mark, using Titanium’s Alloy platform and building a supporting API in Django.
Let us know what else you think could be added to improve the app, we already have tournaments with multiple players in the pipeline.